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Sectoral e-Business Watch

  • Mission and objectives
  • Contractual basis
  • Work programme 2007/08

Mission and objectives

The mission of the Sectoral e-Business Watch is to support the work of the European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry in the field of ICT and e-business policies. In this policy area, DG ENTR itself has a twofold mission: "to enhance the competitiveness of the ICT sector, and to facilitate the efficient uptake of ICT for European enterprises in general.

The services of the SeBW are expected to contribute to these goals. This overall mission can be broken down into the following main objectives:

  • to study and assess the impact of ICT on enterprises, industries and the economy in general;
  • to highlight barriers for ICT uptake, i.e. issues that are hindering a more effective use of ICT by enterprises in Europe;
  • to identify and discuss public policy challenges stemming from the observed developments, notably at the European level;
  • to engage in dialogue with stakeholders from industry and policy institutions, providing a forum for debating relevant issues.

By delivering evidence on ICT impact and barriers to uptake, the SeBW is to support informed policy decision-making in ICT-related fields in several policy domains including innovation, competition and structural policy. In this way the SeBW is to contribute to the widespread adoption and effective use of ICT across the European economy.

These strategic objectives are to be realised by a systematic monitoring and analysis of ICT adoption and e-business activity in European firms from different industries and their impact, as well as by assessing the implications of these developments for stakeholders. Stakeholders include enterprises, their employees, suppliers and customers – be it other businesses, consumers or the public sector –, and policy institutions with a responsibility for ICT and e-business related issues.

ICT impact assessment is perhaps the most important goal for the future SeBW.

Contractual basis

The Sectoral e-Business Watch (SeBW) is based on a Framework Contract and Specific Contract between the European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate General, and empirica GmbH, running until April 2008. The implementation of the contractual services involves, besides empirica GmbH, the following main service providers: Altran Group, Databank, DIW Berlin, GOPA-Cartermill, IDC, Ipsos GmbH and Ramboll Management. The contract can be renewed twice for 16 months each.

The Framework Contract was issued to continue the work of the preceding "e-Business W@tch" observatory. The European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry had initially launched the "European e-Business Market W@tch" in late 2001 under the "MultiAnnual Programme (MAP) on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship 2001-2005". e-Business W@tch was operational until the end of January 2007.

Work programme 2007/08

The SeBW project started in January 2007. It will run until April 2008. The project is divided into five main work packages.

  • The first work package, the preparation period, runs from January 2007 until April 2007.
  • This is followed by the data collection work package where the majority of primary data is collected and secondary data is collated and analysed. The CATI survey is to be completed in this time period, whereas a limited number of case studies can be conducted after that time. The main data collection period lasts from April 2007 until October 2007.
  • Towards the end of the main data collection period, when data becomes available, initial analyses will take place. The full analysis and reporting period lasts until February 2008.
  • Dissemination activities bundled in the newsroom work package commence in June 2007 and will last until April 2008. Activities in this work package evolve around the management of publications.
  • The concluding work package, events & networking commences in October 2007 ending in April 2008. Main activities within this time period include the SeBW workshops and the 2008 conference.


Work plan